Pitt | Swanson Engineering

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Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices - it is the engineering discipline that offers the most wide-ranging array of opportunities in terms of employment, and it is distinguished by its flexibility. While other engineering disciplines tend to apply skills to very specific areas, Industrial Engineers may be found working everywhere: from traditional manufacturing companies to airlines, from distribution companies to financial institutions, from major medical establishments to consulting companies, from high-tech corporations to companies in the food industry.

View our Fall 2018 course schedule for undergraduate and graduate students.

View our Summer 2018 course schedule for undergraduate and graduate students.

The BS in industrial engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org). To learn more about Industrial Engineering’s Undergraduate Program ABET Accreditation, click here

Our department is the proud home of Pitt's Center for Industry Studies, which supports multidisciplinary research that links scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry.

OPEN FACULTY POSITIONS (Fall 2018)


Apr
17
2018

American Society of Safety Engineers Elects Joel Haight to Board of Directors

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (April 17, 2018) … The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced that Joel M. Haight, associate professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, will join its 2018-19 Board of Directors as a Director-At-Large after a society-wide vote earlier this year. Dr. Haight’s term begins July 1 and lasts three years.“My own professional and personal values align greatly with ASSE’s mission, and I look forward to taking on a new role to help shape an organization that has done so much to help shape the safety engineering profession,” said Dr. Haight.The ASSE Board of Directors has four Directors-At-Large and assigns duties to them based on organizational need. Candidates must be a member of ASSE to appear on ballot for the Board of Directors election. They must be involved in an ASSE committee or task force, have a record of positive contributions to the safety and health profession, show support and understanding of the Society’s vision, and be a good motivator who is results-driven.Dr. Haight has been a member of ASSE since 1985. From 2011 until 2017, he served as the chair of the research committee for the ASSE foundation and a Board of Trustees member.Read the official ASSE press release at http://www.asse.org/asse-election-results-highlighted-by-medinas-move-to-president/. About ASSEFounded in 1911, the American Society of Safety Engineers is the world’s oldest professional safety society. ASSE promotes the expertise, leadership, and commitment of its members, while providing them with professional development, advocacy, and standards development. It also sets the occupational safety, health, and environment community’s standards for excellence and ethics.ASSE is a global association of occupational safety professionals representing more than 36,000 members worldwide. The Society is also a visible advocate for Occupational Safety and Health professionals through proactive government affairs at the federal and state levels and in member-led relationships with key federal safety and health agencies.About Dr. HaightJoel M. Haight joined the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. In the previous 33 years he served four years as Chief of the Human Factors Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at their Pittsburgh Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, where he managed a research branch of 35-40 researchers in the areas of ergonomics, cognitive engineering, human behavior, and training. Dr. Haight also served for nearly 10 years, as an Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Haight worked as a manager and engineer for the Chevron Corporation for 18 years prior to joining the faculty at Penn State. His research interests include health and safety management systems intervention effectiveness measurement and optimization and human performance measurement in automated control system design.He is the editor in chief and contributing author of Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering published by J.W. Wiley and Sons in 2013 and the Safety Professionals Handbook published by the American Society of Safety Engineers in 2012. In addition, he has published nearly 60 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.  Dr. Haight is an active member of ASSE, HFES, IISE, and AIHA. He is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Alabama and certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygienists. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Apr
4
2018

Swanson School’s Department of Industrial Engineering Presents Tracey Travis with 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (April 4, 2018) … This year’s Distinguished Alumni from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering have worked with lesson plans and strategic plans, cosmetics and the cosmos, brains and barrels and bridges. It’s a diverse group, but each honoree shares two things in common on their long lists of accomplishments: outstanding achievement in their fields, and of course, graduation from the University of Pittsburgh.This year’s recipient for the Department of Industrial Engineering is Tracey T. Travis, BSIE ‘83, Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies.The six individuals representing each of the Swanson School’s departments and one overall honoree representing the entire school gathered at the 54th annual Distinguished Alumni Banquet at the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Hall to accept their awards. Gerald D. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering, led the banquet for the final time before his return to the faculty this fall.“Today, at the Estee Lauder Corporation as CFO and Executive Vice President of Finance, she is responsible for global finance, IT, investor relations and process improvement among other duties,” said Dean Holder. “Our Industrial Engineering program is the second oldest in the U.S., and one of the top 10 public programs. It has graduated outstanding IEs throughout its history, and Tracey is no exception.”About Tracey TravisTracey Travis received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA in Finance and Operations Management from Columbia University. She is currently the Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies with responsibilities for global finance, accounting, investor relations, information technology, and strategy and new business development. She also co-leads the company’s major cost savings and process improvement initiatives.  Previously, Ms. Travis was Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Ralph Lauren Corporation from January 2005-July 2012. In both roles, she led and supported multiple acquisitions, the development of enhanced capital structures and shareholder returns, and technology transformations.     Ms. Travis was employed with Limited Brands in Columbus, Ohio from 2001-2004 as Chief Financial Officer of Intimate Brands, Inc. and as Senior Vice President of Finance for Limited Brands. From 1999-2001 she was Chief Financial Officer of the Americas Group of American National Can. Prior to this position, she held various management positions at Pepsico/Pepsi Bottling Group from 1989-1999. Ms. Travis began her career at General Motors first as an engineer, then after receiving a GM Fellowship to pursue her MBA, she returned to General Motors as a Financial Executive.She currently serves as a director on the boards of Accenture PLC and Lincoln Center Theater in New York and previously on the boards of Campbell Soup Company and Jo-Ann Stores Inc. where she chaired the Audit Committee. She is a member of the Board of Overseers for Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and recently served on the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees.  Treasury and Risk Management magazine recognized Ms. Travis as one of the Top 25 Women in Finance in 2005 and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance in 2012. Institutional Investor magazine granted her the Best CFO award in 2008 and Black Enterprise magazine named her one of the Top 100 African Americans in Corporate America in 2009 and 2017. In 2011 Ms. Travis served as an inaugural member of the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Forum and in 2016 she received Legal Momentum’s Aiming High Award. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Apr
4
2018

Industrial Engineering’s Joel Haight Discusses Workplace Automation at Health and Safety Conference

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (April 4, 2018) … Joel M. Haight, associate professor of industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering and director of the Safety Engineering Program, delivered the opening keynote at the National Health & Safety Leaders’ Summit during the Safety 360 conference on March 27 – 28 in Auckland, New Zealand.His speech titled “Safety in the digital era – can you have the best of both worlds?” examined living and working with rapid technological advancement, particularly the necessity for human workers to prepare for interacting more and more with machines and the dangers of abandoning human oversight in the workplace for complete automation.“We cannot just remove the human in the name of effectiveness, efficiency, or safety,” said Dr. Haight during the keynote. “The human role has to change and our human operators must adapt. Overall system performance will be better if there is effective human-machine integration.”The Safety 360 conference focuses on best practices for health and safety professionals across all sectors and industries with legislative updates, case studies, interactive panel discussions, and inspirational stories. Its four summits explore topics in health and safety leadership, hazardous substance management, health and wellbeing, and occupational health.About Dr. HaightJoel M. Haight joined the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. In the previous 33 years he served four years as Chief of the Human Factors Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at their Pittsburgh Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, where he managed a research branch of 35-40 researchers in the areas of ergonomics, cognitive engineering, human behavior, and training. Dr. Haight also served for nearly 10 years, as an Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Haight worked as a manager and engineer for the Chevron Corporation for 18 years prior to joining the faculty at Penn State. His research interests include health and safety management systems intervention effectiveness measurement and optimization and human performance measurement in automated control system design.He is the editor in chief and contributing author of Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering published by J.W. Wiley and Sons in 2013 and the Safety Professionals Handbook published by the American Society of Safety Engineers in 2012. In addition, he has published nearly 60 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings.  Dr. Haight is an active member of ASSE, HFES, IISE, and AIHA. From 2011 until 2017, he served as the chair of the research committee for the American Society of Safety Engineers foundation and Board of Trustees member. He is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania and Alabama and certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and the American Board of Industrial Hygienists. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Apr
2
2018

Swanson School students capture top prize and more at tenth annual Randall Family Big Idea Competition

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Student Profiles

Innovation Institute News Release With a blast of confetti falling from above the stage at the Charity Randall Theater, the participants in the 2018 Randall Family Big Idea Competition celebrated the culmination of two months of extra-curricular work on ideas for new products ranging from a software platform to connect hunters to landowners to a new insulin pump for diabetics, to a wearable earbud for helping disabled people control devices with eye movement. And 13 of the 40 finalist teams celebrated sharing the $100,000 in prize money. This year’s competition was the largest yet, with more than 300 students of all levels, from freshman to doctoral, participating in the initial round comprising more than 100 teams. Teams led by Swanson School of Engineering students captured at least one win in every place. The winner of the $25,000 top prize was Four Growers, an interdisciplinary group of students led by Dan Chi of the Swanson School of Engineering. They are developing a robotic system for harvesting tomatoes in commercial greenhouses. Next up for Four Growers will be representing Pitt as its entrant in the ACC InVenture Prize competition April 4-6, 2018, at Georgia Tech University, where each university in the Atlantic Coast Conference competes against each other in an innovation pitch competition. Four Growers is one of two Pitt teams that have been accepted into the prestigious Rice Business Plan Competition the same weekend, meaning they will have to split the team to compete both in Atlanta and Houston. The other Pitt entrant is FRED, which has developed a flexible platform for dynamic social science modeling. “This is the first time Pitt has had a team accepted in the Rice competition in its 17-year history, so having not one but the maximum allowed of two teams from the university accepted is a big deal,” said Babs Carryer, Director of Education and Outreach for the Innovation Institute, who oversees the Big Idea Competition. This years’ competition marked the 10th anniversary and it included the announcement that Pitt trustee Bob Randall and his family are donating $2 million to establish the Big Idea Center at the Innovation Institute to support student entrepreneurship. See that full story here. Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher credited Bob Randall’s vision for embedding entrepreneurship into the fabric of the university with bringing about a culture change that has witnessed a dramatic increase in the experiential learning opportunities in entrepreneurship that have been built around the Big Idea Competition in the past four years. “Bob’s vision has transformed this campus in so many powerful ways. We thank you and your family for not only being a great friend and a generous benefactor but for being a catalyst for change,” he said. Chancellor Gallagher said the crucible of the Big Idea competition will serve the participants well in whatever career route they take, whether it’s launching a startup or leading new initiatives in a larger organization. “If you think about the experience of being an entrepreneur, there’s almost nothing like it. Conversion of a thought into something that’s tangible and real and of value is the magic of entrepreneurship, and to do it is a seminal learning experience,” he said. The Big Idea prize winners will proceed into the Blast Furnace student accelerator beginning in May to further develop their ideas with the goal for some of creating startup companies around their ideas. The winning Swanson School of Engineering teams include: 1st place: $25,000Four GrowersTeam: Brandon Contino (ECE), Daniel Chi (MEMS), Daniel Garcia (Neuroscience), Jiangzi Li (Katz), Rahul Ramakrishnan (CMU)Idea: Automation of tomato harvesting in commercial greenhouses 2nd place: $15,000 (1 out of 3 winners)Re-VisionTeam: Yolandi van der Merwe (BioE), Mark Murdock (Pathology/Badylak Lab)Idea: Therapeutic platform to promote ocular tissue healing after injury 3rd place: $5,000 (2 out of 4 winners) Aqua Bio-Chem DiamondTeam: Mohan Wang (ECE), Jingyu Wu (ECE)Idea: Environmentally friendly removal of pollutants from contaminated waste water PCA BuddyTeam: Akhil Aniff (BioE), Patrick Haggerty (BioE), Sarah Cummings (Nursing), Tyler Martin (BioE)Idea:  Pump that gives children the ability to self-administer medication 4th place: $2,000 (2 out of 4 winners) Steeltown RetractorTeam: Chris Dumm (MEMS), Jack Bartley (MEMS)Idea: Allows surgeons to operate more efficiently and naturally by simplifying surgical tool placement and adjustment GlucaglinTeam: Shane Taylor (ChemE), Evan Sparks (ChemE), Jake Muldowney (ChemE)Idea: Multifunctional pump for diabetics Best Video Award EXG H+TechnologiesTeam: Ker Jiun Wang (BioE), Nicolina Nanni (IE), Yu Liu, Yiqiu Ren (ECE), Kaiwen You (ECE), Xiangyu Liao (ECE), Quanbo Liu (ECE)Idea: System to use eye movement for control of a powered wheelchair, cell phone, or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices
Michael C. Yeomans, Marketing and Special Events Manager, Innovation Institute
Mar
22
2018

Southwestern Pennsylvania Manufacturers Get Student Support

Industrial, Student Profiles

PITTSBURGH (March 22, 2018) … Small- to medium-sized companies in southwestern Pennsylvania have a friend in the University of Pittsburgh. For the past two years, Pitt Industrial Engineering (IE) students have worked with manufacturing extension partnership Catalyst Connection to make productivity and operations improvements throughout the region.“The collaboration with Catalyst Connection began during the fall semester in 2016,” says Louis Luangkesorn, assistant professor of industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering and Senior Design Capstone Course advisor. “Senior design projects require students to complete a complex project based on challenges they’ll face in the workplace so using these projects as an opportunity to help local businesses is a natural fit.” Catalyst Connection is one of only 60 manufacturing extension partnership centers throughout the 50 states. They provide improvement services and consultation to companies in the 14 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. After recognizing the many similarities between Catalyst Connection’s work and the work Pitt students were doing in the classroom, the two joined forces.“Pitt students are brought in for the heavy lifting: time studies, development of systems, scheduling, and resource plans,” says Eric MacDonald, senior continuous improvement consultant at Catalyst Connection. MacDonald works directly with companies to determine their consulting needs and coordinates their demand with Dr. Luangkesorn’s supply of students.Last semester, a team of five Pitt seniors assisted All-Clad Metalcrafters, an internationally recognized cookware manufacturer in Canonsburg, Pa. They focused on improving the “cladding” process, which consists of heating, bonding, and “blanking” metal sheets into disks.“Cookware manufacturing begins with a round disk called a ‘blank.’ The first step involves putting the blank in an oven and cooking it properly based on the temperature, time, and design. The Pitt team looked at this first step of the process to see if they could improve it. In the end, they found ways to improve four steps of the process,” says Mike Whaley, process engineer at All-Clad.Contributions from the Pitt teams during the spring and fall semesters in 2017 resulted in an estimated annual savings of $466,057 for All-Clad Metalcrafters. “The best resource I was provided was intelligent questions to things I have not yet resolved. Those questions drove new paths in the project, and those paths led to breakthrough innovation,” adds Whaley.Evan Bair, who last December received a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering, was part of the fall 2017 Pitt team at All-Clad. They compiled temperature profiles of the product in the oven, executed trials with cost-reduced designs, and wrote data-based reports that recommended ways to improve All-Clad’s manufacturing processes.“Being able to work alongside full-time engineers in a manufacturing environment is so helpful in teaching students the skills that can’t be taught in the classroom: working on multi-discipline teams, dealing with setbacks caused by events that are out of the students’ control, interacting with people who work on the plant floor. The list could go on, but I feel that this kind of work is a vital part of any student’s education,” says Bair.Another Pitt team traveled to Anchor Distributors in New Kensington, Pa. to study the company’s more than 130,000 square foot warehouse. Most of Anchor’s business come from distributing books, and the company began working with Catalyst Connection to improve warehouse efficiency and prepare for potential expansion. “The Pitt students were able to quantify the effect of a new layout and firmed up our decision to go in a new direction and get on the right track,” says Rob Whitaker III, financial analyst at Anchor Distributors.The company’s original “serpentine pattern” for fulfilling orders had workers walking an average of 10 to 12 miles per day. By changing the warehouse to a six-zone layout in which products are organized based on popularity, the students demonstrate with engineering models how the company could increase productivity while lowering labor and overtime cost.“I was impressed by how competent the students were and how well they worked together,” says Whitaker. “It’s encouraging to know that this is the next generation about to enter the work force.”Seventeen teams journeyed off Pitt’s campus and helped Pennsylvania companies last year. According to Dr. Luangkesorn, these experiences have lasting effects on the students as well as the companies because the collaborations explore new ideas and apply fresh thinking to traditional manufacturing processes.“While the University of Pittsburgh rightly celebrates the achievements of its best students, the success of so many of these senior capstone projects speaks to the quality and prospects of the entire Pitt engineering student body, not only the top students,” says Dr. Luangkesorn. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

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